Injuries

How my injuries were healed by bee stings and honey treatments

In mid-2004, while training for a marathon, I fell down a flight of stairs and was rushed to a local emergency room. I was X-rayed and diagnosed with osteoarthritis on my right knee. With severe pain, I could barely walk. Heating pads, knee wraps, and massage equipment became a central part of my life. I visited the local hospital’s orthopedic department head, who immediately scheduled me for surgery in September. Stunned by the sudden diagnosis, I decided to do more research and get a second opinion. As a believer in alternative medicine, I did not want to opt for surgery without considering other possibilities. My herbalist suggested prolotherapy, a treatment for chronic pain, which I’d never heard of. Research on the techniques and doctors associated with it led me to Dr. Andrew Kochan’s website. His reaction to my condition was to look at my X-rays before providing treatment. He recommended first trying apitherapy and then reviewing my injuries as we progressed. After testing to be sure I wasn’t allergic to bee venom, I started a series of bee stings on my knee. I have since completed four marathons and several half-marathons, all pain-free. I exercise and train daily basis. I have lots of energy and lead a healthy life. In June 2007, while running uphill I landed wrong on my left foot. My Achilles tendon was injured and painful. I went back to Dr. Kochan for more apitherapy. I did well after only a few treatments and began training again with my group for another marathon. In October 2007 in a car accident, my body was thrown around and dragged like a rag doll. I sustained a severe abrasion to my left foot over the great toe, bruises from my waist down on my body, and second-degree abrasion and burns and a hematoma the size of an orange on my right arm. I was taken by ambulance to the emergency room, where X-rays determined that nothing was broken. The next day my doctor prescribed silver sulfadiazine ointment and Betadine wash. When I said I would be using honey for my burn, he looked at me as if I were crazy; he had never heard of such a thing. I was told that the wound might need skin grafting in a couple of months. That was not going to happen. Instead, I went home and called Dr. Kochan’s office. Meanwhile, I took charge of my own healing. I washed the burn wound with saline wash, used clean gauze and applied honey to the wound, and wrapped the wound with non-stick wound gauze. For the bruising and swelling, I started taking Arnica montana (a perennial herb) three times a day for about two weeks, together with Bromelia, a pineapple enzyme. Bee pollen, royal jelly, and propolis also became part of my daily routine. That evening, I received a call from Dr. Kochan’s assistant, Ray, and I recited my homemade treatment. At an appointment the next day, Dr. Kochan checked for infection of the wound and encouraged me to continue the wound dressing of honey on the burns. I did these daily, and Dr. Kochan or Ray examined the healing twice a week. In addition, I received bee stings on my right arm around the hematoma and on my lower back, which had been twisted in the accident and continued to be painful. All the bruising and swelling subsided in record time: just two weeks. The skin is healed and the color is almost back on my arm. I did not need a skin graft. The abrasion over the ankle took a little more time, but it too healed completely within six weeks—again, no graft needed. I am enormously grateful to have found apitherapy and honey treatments. I think we should all stock our home cabinets with an extra bottle of honey for emergencies. I keep a supply of honey and any honey products that I can find. Thank you, Ray and Dr. Kochan! – Velma Thomas January 07, 2009

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BVT for a hand injury

My wife, Joan, age 50, has had epilepsy since she was 18. There is no warning when she is about to have seizure, and she often falls unexpectedly. In the spring of 1995 Joan fell and dislocated two knuckles on her right hand. After a trip to the emergency room, she was told by the orthopedist that she needed physical therapy to gain control of her hand. She had about 20% range of motion in her fingers. At best she could almost form the number seven with her right hand. Making a fist was impossible. She tried to learn how to write left-handed, as she could not hold a pen. After six weeks of physical therapy, Joan had gained about 10% more range of motion in her hand. Her knuckles were swollen to three times their normal size, and she was in constant pain. Her doctor said that she would have arthritis in her hand and would most likely be in pain for the rest of her life. I had known Pat and Ray Wagner for over 20 years. Although I was aware that they were stinging people for various problems, mostly MS, I hadn’t thought about having Joan get stung until Pat and I spoke on the phone and she suggested that we come by to have her sting Joan’s hand. Pat gave Joan two bee stings in her knuckles, and we waited for the bee venom to work into her hand. Pat was understanding about the pain and did everything possible to minimize it, but she continued to have “that smile” she has when stinging someone: she knows that the pain is nothing compared with the benefits we get from the stings. We chatted for about 30 minutes until Pat removed the stingers. To our amazement, the swelling in Joan’s hand had already subsided by at least 50%. After another half hour, at Pat’s request, Joan made a fist and started to cry. This, Pat said, is why she calls them “God’s Bees”! Eleven years later, Joan has been stung several more times. In 1999 she fell and shattered her ankle, needing 23 pins to put it back together. After surgery and removal of the final cast, our first treatment was with Pat and Ray. Since then, Joan has had her ankle stung several times, again with amazing results. She recently developed some ankle pain, so it’s time to visit Pat and Ray again. I too have taken advantage of God’s bees and have had my back stung a few times a year to help with five herniated disks. I also have my knees stung at least twice a year and have had stings in other places that cause me pain. People I know who have seen Pat and Ray for various problems have also had positive results. And Joan’s hand? She has never had any more swelling, problems with range of motion, or pain since her first stings. God’s Bees are truly amazing. – John Sherbert sherb9848@yahoo.com January 07, 2009

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BVT for hand injury

“This is an A+ recovery. We’re not talking B or C here. Considering the extent of the damage, this is an A+ recovery.” These were the comments from my doctor at my final appointment for the hand injury that occurred in April 2005. I knew I had done something seriously wrong to my hand, but when I turned on the light and looked at my thumb, twisted and sticking up from the back of my hand, I almost passed out. At first I thought I could grab it and twist it back into position, but I couldn’t figure out which way to turn it. I knew I’d have to go to the emergency room. It was 1:00 a.m. I had run to answer the phone, tripped, and flung myself around my home office-not a smart thing to do. I know people will always call back, but with teenage kids and on-call duty for work, I had to answer the phone. I hit my hand so hard against the desk that I dislocated my thumb. The ER doctor shot the hand full of Novocain, twisted the thumb back into place, and wrapped the hand and wrist into a cast. He referred me to a hand specialist, saying that I most likely would require surgery to repair the torn ligaments. The hand specialist did an initial exam and then scheduled an MRI. The injury was described as a severe skier’s thumb injury or ulnar collateral ligament of the thumb. During the exam there was no pain when the doctor pulled, twisted, and pushed the thumb around. I took that as a good sign. He said it was a bad sign, because it meant that the ligaments were completely torn and I would need surgery to repair them. If the ligaments are completely torn they will not reattach themselves and heal; they have to be sewn back together. Fortunately, he decided to wait and look at the MRI results and let the hand rest before doing anything so intrusive. At work I told everyone my story. I’m glad I did, because a colleague, Mark McWiggins, suggested that I try bee sting therapy, and the sooner the better. I was game: the doctors were looking at surgery, and that was the last thing I wanted. Mark introduced me to his wife, Kate. She started out by using arnica ointment to help with the swelling. Then we set up an appointment for the first bee sting. From my childhood experiences with bees, I knew I would not have a serious reaction, so I felt okay about getting stung. I was more worried about my doctor’s reaction to this. I did not want him to notice the bee stings, so I decided to have the stings timed between my appointments with him and my physical therapy sessions, to allow the swelling to go down. In fact, once I had received physical therapy a couple of times and learned the exercises, I canceled many of the sessions. The therapist wanted me to come twice a week, but I only went every two weeks. I did the exercises every day, because I knew this was one way to get full functionality back in my hand. Kate was wonderful and came to my house to do the bee stings. During the first session, she explained all the risks and warned me about all the discomforts. I thought, “yeah, yeah, let’s just do this.” So she picked a bee and did a test sting on the arm that was not injured. I was surprised-I’d forgotten how painful that stinger is and I was amazed at how much the spot swelled up. So I realized that I should sit up and pay attention to Kate. I’m glad she was being cautious and taking it a bit slow. She then decided to do micro-stings on the injured spot. I’m glad she did that, too. When she stung the injured area, it was like a hot needle going into the joint. She applied liquid propolis (Glenn Perry’s aqueous solution), and that immediately calmed the injured area. An hour later, though, the area was swollen and itching. It was worse than annoying, but I kept reminding myself that this was the healing process and better than surgery. The hand was swollen, hot, and itchy for about two days, and then things settled down. Kate was willing to come out to my house to do the bee stings once a week, but I felt bad because of the distance and time involved. I got brave and told her that I could do the stings if she would provide some bees. She brought me about 20 bees in a mason jar, plus the equipment. As a result, I was able to pick the bees up, and I did one more round of stinging. I was so happy to have my own bees. I kept them in a nice spot in a kitchen cabinet, and there they stayed for about a week. I thought it would be easy to sting myself, but I kept putting it off, waiting for the right moment. It was a bit harder than I’d thought. I finally decided to give myself another sting, because after each session there was a noticeable difference in my hand and I wanted to continue that healing. This was about six weeks after the injury. Both my physical therapist and my doctor were impressed with how quickly I was getting motion back in my hand and thumb. By now the idea of surgery had been dropped, and now the therapist and doctor were focused on getting as much range in motion back into my hand as possible, considering the injury and my age (50). The therapist measured my uninjured left hand and set those measurements as the goals for the injured right hand. So it was easy to see progress, and this gave me an incentive. Back to trying to do a bee sting on myself. It’s
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Tendonitis

Bee sting therapy has made a believer out of me! My apitherapist, Reyah Carlson, has produced some amazing healing for calcified tendonitis in my right shoulder. An MRI showed the problem in late 2003, right after I’d strained my shoulder lifting heavy luggage. Despite six weeks of physical therapy, there was still very limited range-of-motion in my shoulder and pain when I tried to raise my arm to do simple things like wash my hair. Having known Reyah for many years, I finally decided that conventional medicine was not working. I’m not afraid of bees, but I was reluctant to try apitherapy. I shouldn’t have been, because Reyah was excellent – she carefully explained the process and how the venom works, and she increased the number of stings over several weeks, so I never had a big reaction or was too afraid to continue. For about four months in early 2004, I had a total of about 200 stings. The painful places where the calcifications had been embedded in the tendons no longer hurt, and I could raise my arm fully. I could also resume my gym workout and move the shoulder during my running without pain. I now get monthly touch-ups of a few stings just to keep the calcifications from lodging again and creating a problem. I’m very pleased and grateful for what bee sting therapy did for me, and I would not hesitate to use it on another part of my body if I have problems in the future. – Karen Bates kcplants@juno.com January 07, 2009

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Achilles tendons

Bee venom therapy isn’t a well-known treatment for ligament or tendon injuries. In fact, I didn’t even know it existed until about a year ago. I’m 14 years old, and I participate in track and field and cross-country. In March 2004 while running track, I developed an injury in both Achilles tendons. I was unable to participate in track that season and had conventional therapy 2 to 3 times a week for 5 months. My pain was diminished, but it remained constant at a lower level. Fortunately, my doctor was aware of alternative treatments for the injury and referred me to Andrew Kochan. During my consultation Dr. Kochan decided that bee venom therapy would be the best treatment for me. On the first day he injected me with a small amount of venom to see if I was allergic to bee venom. (I wasn’t.) Then he numbed my ankle by icing it, and he stung me with 2 live bees. The stings were in the 2 areas of my ankle where the pain was the most severe. My ankle was sore for the next 2 days, but as the week progressed, I realized that I no longer had any pain. At my next visit, Dr. Kochan numbed my other ankle and stung me with 2 more live bees. Once again, my ankle was sore, but I was pain-free within a week. I started running about a week after the treatment was over, and I resumed training 2 weeks after my treatment was complete. Bee venom therapy has had a big impact on my life. It allowed me to participate in a sport that I love, and it rid me of constant pain that I had dealt with for 5 months. Thank you so much, Dr. Kochan, for all of your help! – Joy Samuels January 07, 2009

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